Underwater portrait photography. Three words that don’t usually go together. But it’s a niche – and a fun one! We talk to underwater portrait photographer Steffen Binke on: the best locations to shoot underwater portraits; breathing techniques to control buoyancy; techniques Steffen uses to pose and direct his models; hair and makeup for underwater portraits; styling underwater portraits; how he gets spectacular results working with non-models, often doing their very first underwater shoot; how he achieves his amazing poses in such a short time (often 5 seconds or less); lighting techniques and heaps more!
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Hello all. I had a photo session on the University of Missouri this past weekend with my niece. The lighting started out bad but got better toward the end. I used my brother on a few test shots as well. Just looking for some constructive criticism on what I can improve on. Maybe to much blue in some. Thanks.
Underwater portrait photography with guest Steffen Binke
“It’s never crowded along the extra mile”
Underwater portrait photography is a magical world with so many moving parts. I’ve always been fascinated by these images and so I invited underwater portrait specialist Steffen Binke to chat about how he creates his beautiful underwater portraits.
We chat about:
- The best locations to shoot underwater portraits
- Breathing techniques to control buoyancy
- The techniques Steffen uses to pose and direct his models
- Hair and make up for underwater portraits
- Styling underwater portraits
- How he gets spectacular results working with non-models, often doing their very first underwater shoot
- How he achieves his amazing poses in such a short time ( often 5 seconds or less)
- Lighting techniques
- And heaps more
Steffen is Binke Photographic Art’s technical director and photographic choreographer. Steffen has a rich and varied background. After an abrupt end of his career as a professional football player in Germany, Steffen changed course and began working underwater, teaching people to dive and helping more than 1800 scuba divers achieve their certification. Steffen’s underwater photography started during this time. Then, as he began to discover the incredible diversity of mood and atmosphere that could be achieved just by different lighting and adjusting a few camera settings, his transition into professional underwater portraiture began.
But Steffen does more than take underwater portraits. He choreographs the entire photoshoot. He develops the brief with his clients/ photography subjects. He coaches them to perform under the water effortlessly and with grace, poise and elegance. And on the day, they become both artist and subject, inspired to dance underwater and engage in the most breathtaking and incredible poses.
When he’s not directing and undertaking photoshoots, Steffen can be found down at the local football fields, mentoring young football players to be the best they can be — and enjoying life with his family.
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